Lukashenka keeps asking Belarusian geologists to find oil. And they do

Oil in Belarus / Photo by Ulad Rubanau, Euroradio

Oil in Belarus / Photo by Ulad Rubanau, Euroradio / калаж Улада Рубанава, Еўрарадыё

As soon as Aliaksandr Lukashenka appointed a new minister of nature he immediately asked him to dig for natural resources. He doesn't believe that everything has already been found. He thinks there must be oil somewhere else in Belarus.

Actually, it's hard for him to think otherwise. After all, the last time he asked for oil, it was miraculously found. And the time before that, they found it too.

We took a closer look at these requests and the context in which they were made. And the strange thing is that the sharper Lukashenka's rhetoric against Russia sounded, the deeper Belarusian geologists dug.


Why does Russia have it and we don't? Summer of 2015

That was the year of total multivectorism. Belarus still did not recognize the annexation of Crimea, and Lukashenka said in interviews with European journalists that "we will fight against Europeans, Americans, Russians - anyone who sets a goal to conquer this piece of land".

All that was missing for complete freedom of action was a small well.

"I just don't believe that we don't have large amounts of oil and that there is no natural gas in our subsoil," Lukashenka told Natural Resources Minister Andrei Kaukhuta.

"I just don't believe that we don't have large amounts of oil"

 And the geologists dug. And a few months later, they suddenly unearthed a small deposit in the old field in the Rechitsa district!


Go and show me how to do it. Spring of 2016

If you are resourceful, you can always find oil. In 2016, Lukashenka set out to show how it should be done. And actually found an oil field for Belarus. In Russia.

He then offered the Russians a swap - let them take the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant and give us, the Belarusians, a small well from which we would pump 10 million tons a year (at that time we were buying about 20 million tons a year from Russia). Russia made no reply to this proposal.

"Why is there no response? Guess for yourself," Lukashenka said enigmatically.

In general, he spoke about the Kremlin at that time on the edge of foul. Speaking to the National Assembly, but actually to Vladimir Putin, Lukashenka said: "Russians should understand that we are an independent sovereign state, ready to live in the same house with you, but to have our own apartment, albeit a small one. And a well - even if it is small.

Meanwhile, geologists were digging. And on New Year's Eve they discovered the Duholskaye deposit in the Homiel region. A gift.


Dirty friendship. April 2019

The very year when Druzhba (Friendship) collapsed and low quality oil began to flow through the oil pipeline from Russia to Belarus. As a result, expensive equipment in Mazyr broke down and Minsk lost the ability to pump oil to the West for a while. Friendship between Russia and Belarus was also shaky.

"What further integration can we talk about when...even an elementary question about dirty oil has not yet been resolved? You act as if this dirty oil never happened," Lukashenka accused the Russians.

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